The original company to make Johnson inboard motors and outboard motors was the Johnson Brothers Motor Company of Terre Haute, Indiana, United States. A few years after the Johnson brothers' factory in Terre Haute was destroyed by a tornado in March 1913, the brothers relocated to South Bend, Indiana and then Waukegan, Illinois.
The company was first acquired by Outboard Marine Corporation (OMC) in 1935. OMC filed for bankruptcy 22 December 2000. It has been owned since 2001 by the Canadian firm Bombardier Recreational Products. Bombardier stopped selling outboards under the Johnson brand after 2007, and has moved all sales entirely to Evinrude Outboard Motors.